Monday, June 22, 2015


It will not just have been Manchester City fans, who were surprised to see who was the man of the match during Brazil’s critical defeat of Venezuela on Sunday, a win that secured passage to the knock-out rounds of the Copa America.

At the ripe old age of 31, Robson de Souza, aka Robinho, was instrumental in ensuring his country’s continued presence at South America’s prestige tournament.

A career that has seemed on a long, winding and slightly unpredictable path -- much like one of the player’s trademark ambling slaloms down the wing -- has taken him from his beloved Santos, around the football globe and back again.

His time at City -- without being the moment of his greatest achievement -- may well, however, go down as the moment he attracted the most attention.

Cast your minds back to the summer of 2008. City -- a club with a rich past and a recent history of underachievement on a nuclear scale -- were approaching the end of the transfer window period in a state of some agitation.

There was nothing new in this and, therefore, nothing in particular for the fans to get excited about. The club, under the somewhat dubious stewardship of ex-Thai leader Thaksin Shinawatra, was enjoying a period of relative calm after the turbulent years between 1996 and 2001, when a yoyo policy between the leagues left everyone feeling dizzy and disoriented.

Still, Shinawatra’s private financial situation was beginning to show up on the radar of certain renowned international law enforcement agencies and this in turn was beginning to set off some alarm bells in both Manchester and Bangkok.

What happened next will be for ever etched on the memories of City supporters on all four sides of the planet.....

Read the rest of this article on ESPNFC's pages here

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